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Postgraduate Admissions

The Institute of Astronomy offers the opportunity to study for the PhD degree, for which the normal duration of study is three years. The format is almost entirely research-based and while projects may be exclusively theoretical or observational, many combine aspects of both. Many projects incorporate aspects of Data Science including machine learning and artificial intelligence.

It is normal for students to attend several relevant international conference during their three years of study, often presenting their own research work. Some students, working on observational research projects, undertake observing trip(s) to major international observatories.


Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

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Key Information


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Institute of Astronomy

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2022

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Jan. 6, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 6, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.


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